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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Players stump for Auburn to retain Lebo

There was plenty of talk Thursday about Auburn coach Jeff Lebo's uncertain future with the program following the Tigers' 78-69 loss to Florida in the SEC tournament.

Here's a sampling from the players:

FRANKIE SULLIVAN, sophomore guard
(Do you have any thoughts about the speculation surrounding Lebo's job)
"I really don't have much to say on that, because the decision is going to be made whether I'm here or not. It's not in my hands to make the decision. I enjoy playing for him. I played hard for just about every coach I've played for, and it's not the first time I've been in this situation like this. But it's different in the college level. I like playing for him. He's a great coach. Whatever happens happens."

(Is it tough to hear, since you committed to Auburn?)
"Coach talked to me, telling me what he wanted me to do when I came in, he let me get it. Whatever happens happens, but I hope they make the right decision on it."

(What does he do well?)
"He knows the players' weaknesses and strengths. He'll tell you beforehand, what you need to work on when you first come. When I first came, everybody knew I was a shooter, but my ball-handling had to get better over the summer. (He) helped me on my ball-handling, had me in the gym two or three times a day. And when you play for a coach that was a guard, knows what it feels like to be a scorer coming out of high school, the hype of helping the team win, he knows all about that. He's a great coach."

(Has he kept this from being a distraction?)
"He told us, don't even worry about it. We just play the game, because we can't worry about that and play basketball.I don't think it was on anybody's minds. We just didn't play well."
TAY WALLER, senior guard
(Do you pay attention to the Lebo talk?)
"No, no, not really. We’re just trying to win ballgames. That’s all we focused on down the stretch. I think he should still be here, because he’s a good coach. Unfortunately, I think like three years ago, he had a lot of injuries. You really can’t control injuries. I think he still should be here."
(What does Lebo mean to you?)
"I knew coach Lebo ever since I was a senior in high school, because they recruited me then, too. So we always kept in touch over there years. Once I found out there was a 2-spot open, close to home, I came. He’s one of the reasons I came though."
LUCAS HARGROVE, senior forward
(What does the future hold for this team?)
"I think they have tremendous upside. We have a lot of young players. Frankie, Ty (Armstrong), Josh Wallace, Kenny Gabriel. We have a lot of young players that can contribute. I think the summer is going to be very vital for them in the weight room and also just getting chemistry as a team. I think they can make some noise next year."

(Have you heard anything about Jeff?)
"I haven't heard too much about it but in my opinion he's a great coach."

(Should he get another year?)
"Definitely. I think he should get many more years. Last season, we had a great season and truth is, this season didn't quite turn out how we wanted it to be but we lost a lot of seniors last year. This year the seniors stepped up as best as we could. I think he's a great coach and, going into the new arena, I feel like he should definitely have a chance."

(What's he do so well?)
"I think he finds the strong points of the team. He's able to bring that to the utmost extent. He's very good at hiding the weaknesses and finding the strong points."

2 comments:

RJ said...

1) It doesn't matter what the senior players say, they aren't going to be around anymore.

2) If it was that important to the players that Lebo be retained as coach, maybe they should have played better. Wins would have helped a lot more than the players' opinions.

Tar Heel Tiger said...

great work, as always. Thanks!